Business Ombudsman's Statement regarding Labor Safety Bill Hearings at Parliament

The Georgia Business Ombudsman's Office appreciates that business associations are participating in the bill discussion process and the workgroup's operation. They are able to express their considerations and remarks. It is worth noting that representatives of the Georgian Business Ombudsman's office have also attended the parliamentary hearings. We have also held active consultations with Georgia-based business associations.


The business sector welcomes and backs efficient steps as part of EU association agreement obligations. These steps are to ensure production of high-standard products and services, as well as to ensure protection of labor safety standards.


At the same time, several circumstances should be taken into account in the bill discussion process on behalf of business sector and business sector employees. It is necessary to develop clear regulations to prevent uncertainties and any form of frustration in business activities.


The Business Ombudsman's Office has several recommendations regarding the last version of the bill:


Amount of Sanctions – amount and combination of sanctions should be proportional and adequate to ensure efficiency of the bill. The amount of sanctions should not burden business, especially small business companies.


Term for Enactment of the Law – Term for enactment of the law and its bylaws should be determined reasonably so as business have adequate time to get to know new regulations and harmonize its operation with new obligations. Naturally, we should also take note of the importance of rapid enactment of this law in relation to heavy, harmful, hazardous facilities.


Responsibilities of Employers and Employees:

Both employers and employees shall enjoy equal rights after the enactment of the law. An employer shall not bear responsibility for the case caused by an employee (deliberately or grossly negligent).


Administering and Compliance with Legal Requirements – It is necessary to specify such issues as a registration of heavy, harmful and hazardous works, registration of occupational diseases, insurance of employee's accidents and medical examination of employees. The law should determine specific data for registration, since, most probably, these data will comprise personal information.


Government's Co-participation in Efficient Planning of Labor Safety System - Since Georgia lacks for labor safety specialists, the country should implement vocational training programs so as a number of companies, especially small and medium business companies,  harmonize internal safety system with the legal requirements.


The Business Ombudsman's Office welcomes the willingness of Parliament of Georgia for organizing a wider and more transparent discussion format.